Belfast Telegraph

Giggs backing Bale to overcome struggles

By Phil Blanche

Ryan Giggs says he is unaware of Gareth Bale's struggles at Real Madrid because he does not have the TV channel covering their domestic games.

Subscription channel Eleven Sports is the official TV rights holders of La Liga games in the UK and Ireland, with matches broadcast through its online streaming platform.

But Giggs does not have access to the channel and admits he is struggling to keep an eye on Bale's fortunes.

"I've not seen many of the games because they're not on Sky any more," Giggs said as he announced a 26-man squad for the Nations League decider against Denmark in Cardiff on November 16 and the friendly in Albania four days later.

"They are on Eleven Sports and I haven't got that. I haven't seen it. But we're talking about a world-class player who never lets his country down," says Giggs.

Bale missed last month's high-profile friendly defeat to Spain and the Nations League victory against the Republic of Ireland because of muscle fatigue.

The 29-year old has featured in four games since the last international break, during which time Real have lost 5-1 at Barcelona and sacked manager Julen Lopetegui.

He was booed off by some sections of the Bernabeu crowd when substituted in the 2-0 league win over Real Valladolid on Saturday.

But Giggs said: "You're under scrutiny all the time, so that is something Gareth is used to."

Anderlecht defender or central midfielder James Lawrence was the surprise name in Giggs' squad.

The 26-year old was born in Henley-on-Thames but qualifies for Wales through his grandmother, who is from Haverfordwest.

Belfast Telegraph

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